Ever wondered how your commuting experience differs to others? Each month we share the story of a real Cyclescheme cycle commuter and ask them seven questions to sum up their experience from their two-wheeled commute. This month, it's Siu.
Each month we feature one Cyclescheme participant and share their commuting story. We ask the same seven questions (hence the name, The Cyclescheme Seven) in a bid to build up a picture of cycle commuters across the UK. From John O'Groats to Lands End, we scour the country for the real cycle commuters who take to their bike each morning. If you'd like to feature on our website, just drop us a line on: firstname.lastname@example.org with "I'm in' in the subject line.
This month we caught up with Siu to see how her commute has changed her life.
Where in the UK are you?
What was your main motivation for getting a bike through Cyclescheme?
To be able to get a good bike and spread the cost. I wouldn't have been able to afford a good bike otherwise.
What bike did you get and why?
My first bike was a Specialized Vita Elite hybrid. I wasn't sure if cycling was going to be something I maintained on a long-term basis so wanted something mid range. I have since purchased 3 more bikes through Cyclescheme. N + 1 comes to mind!
How much did you spend with your Cyclescheme Certificate?
My Specialized hybrid was £550, plus I spent about £150 on kit. My 2nd bike, Scwhinn mountain bike was £900. I then got a Forme road bike for around £650, and finally my Norco Threshold cyclocross for around £750.
How often do you commute to work by bike?
I now only work at the weekends as I go to University full time. I have to admit I’m a bit of a fair weather rider so usually will ride about twice a week. Historically when I got my first bike I used to cycle commute 2/3 times weekly anyway.
Where do you commute from and to?
Initially it started off as Leicester to Loughborough, which is about 13 miles one-way. In between I did the odd one-way commute to or from Melton Mowbray to Leicester, which is approximately 20 miles. Nowadays work is only about 3 miles away, and if my timetable allows I will do a one-way journey either to or from Leicester to Coventry University, which is around 25 miles. Realistically this journey only happens about once a month.
How has cycling affected your daily life - do you feel healthier? Have you save money?
I have become a bit of a cycling geek. I felt a lot healthier especially in my first 2 years of cycling and I clearly lost weight as was commuting regularity, however University in the last 2 years has put a dampener on the cycling as assignment work and other extra curricular activities take priority. Therefore the weight has come back on. However the summer holidays always gives me the time to get some miles in again. I always miss getting in at least a couple of cycles a week and tend to focus on it as a hobby these days. My distances have gradually increased from the 13 miles in the first year to 'training rides' of approximately 30 miles and I always aim to have one or 2 longer rides of 40 or 50 miles per month when life doesn't get in the way.
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